Xmera / Dugdale Correspondence / Correspondents / Nathaniel Johnston

William Dugdale Correspondence

Nathaniel Johnston

Yorkshire antiquary, whose brother Henry was employed by Dugdale as a clerk.

William Dugdale, Heralds' Office to Nathaniel Johnston, 4 May 1665

He received Johnston's letter dated 18 Feb. yesterday, as he left London on 21 Feb. to go to Lancashire etc. and only returned a fortnight ago.

'That which Mr Townley informed you concerning my publishing Sir H. Spelmans Glossary is true. It came out in Trinity Terme the last yeare .. But the copy was wholy the Authors .. I being put on the care of the presse by my Lords Grace of Canterbury & my Lord Chancelour, and to veiw the copy, and make it fit for the printer'. In Michaelmas term he printed the Councils, at the 'speciall instance of those great persons; and added more than 2 parts in the three to it of my own labour & collecting; he having but begun the worke a little before he dyed'.

'The worke of my own totally' on the judges etc. is almost printed. It is supposed to be out in Trinity term, but he won't be surprised if it isn't as he has no faith in the printers.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 16r


William Dugdale, Heralds' Office to Nathaniel Johnston, 12 May 1665

'Sir, On Thursday last I wrote to you concerning the Office booke merveiling much I heard nothing of it from you since my comming hither, though I wrote to you Thursday was sevenight: but yesterday I received your Letter dated on Munday last whereby you write, that you had sent the Booke with some of my papers by one Pell a Carryer, yet tell me not where I should finde out this Pell: so that I have had very much trouble in hearkning after him at sundry Carryers Innes in London, but at length have discovered that his Inne is as the Bell-Savage on Ludgate hill, and that he dwells in Doncaster'. The porter told him that Pell had left London and was not due back for a fortnight & had brought nothing for Dugdale. 'I assure you this fayling to send the Booke doth not a little perplex me; for I suffer in my credit by breaking my word with my fellows, and am in no small feare, that it may be lost .. I did hope you would have had especiall care of it; for the loss is irreparable if it be gone'.

'If your brother come next weeke, as you say, he shall be welcome'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 8


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, 23 May 1665

If Harry had come to him as promised, this letter and the one overleaf [of 4 May] might have arrived with Johnston sooner, but he has now despaired of his arrival.

Discusses the visitation, where he is relying on Johnston's local knowledge. Edward Hansen of Halifax has been with him and approved the list of names Dugdale took from the Hearth Tax returns in the Exchequer, 'but hath promised to send me up another catalogue by the helpe of one Mr Hopkinson'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 16v


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 3 June 1665

He's received Johnston's letter of 31 May. He is to see Sir Thomas Gore on Tuesday morning to get his advice about where to sit. He only sat in 5 places in Lancashire, but he thinks Yorkshire is twice the size and has twice the number of gentry. 'I did summon each Hundred to those particular places, upon a certain day, and dispatcht all that came in upon the same day: and commonly after noone, the day following, I rode to my next station; & on the day after that, had the gentlemen of the parts thereabouts with me there. But if there was any thing of note to be seene in the Country, I then allowed my selfe one day longer betwixt place & place'. He'd prefer no-one to have to travel more than 8 miles and for it to be no more trouble to the gentry than attending the monthly meetings of justices. His list of gentry has been taken from the Hearth Rolls, but will be amended on the advice of Johnston and the bailiffs. He will acquaint the judges before they go out of London, 'for they are all of them my good freinds'. Thanks Johnston for offering to save his deputy charge & labour, 'however I cannot accept thereof'.

'I have this evening written a line or two to your Brother who lodgeth in Plow-stables, to consult with me about the copy of Domesday booke for you & will meet with Mr Fauconbridge (who hath the custody of the Book) on Tuesday next about it. I doubt it will be deare, for I could not get the Coppy of Cheshire (which is a small county) for Sir Peter Leicester, under seven pounds. Sir H: Spelmans Glossary in quires will cost 12s. 6d. and the Councells 16s. So the Booksellers pay for them, in regard Mr Charles Spelman (grandson to Sir Henry) printed them at his own chardge. My owne worke will not be dispatch this six weeks at soonest, so much hath the printer fayled me; so that till Michaellmasse Terme it will not be publiq: & then I will desire you to accept one from me, as my gift'.

'Our Navy hath been in fight with the Dutch neere Yarmouth as tis beleived from yesterday before Noone till now, the Guns being heard hither and in the Country hereabouts. The generall rumour is here, that we have taken & sunk some of them, and are prosecuting our good successe very hotly. Everyday will now affoard store of News, in this great & signell buisnesse; to which God grant a happy issue'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 32


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, 8 June 1665

'Sir, This is cheifly to tell you, that having treated with Mr Fauconbridge, I have prevailed with him to accept 20li for the copy of Domesday booke for Yorkshire, if you like it, provided he have 10li in hand. It is 30 sheets in the autograph, & he will imitate the Letter throughout. Let me heare your resolution by the next post; for a Tuesday come sevenight I shall come out of London.

This day afforded us an Expresse from his highnesse the D. of Yorke, confirming those uncertain reports we had before from severall parts of our coasts; vzt that God hath given us a glorious victory over the Dutch'. Describes the losses on both sides and reports the deaths of the Earl of Portland, Earl of Marlborough, Earl of Falmouth etc. Considers it the greatest thing since 'the miraculous restoration' of Charles II and the 'greatest sea fight that ever was in the world'. 'They are now kindling their Bonefires here, the Bells ringing for joy & all good people singing Te Deum laudamus'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 12


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 15 June 1665

Thanks Johnston for his advice on the intinerary, 'but I hope I have fixed them better, by the helpe of Sir Thomas Gower & one Mr Hayes an Attorney, who hath been wholy imployed by him when he was Shireeve of Yorkeshire & undestands the Country thoroughly'. He has also perused the catalogue. The York assizes will begin on Monday 17 July, so he'll send his deputy to wait on the judge on the 15th. 'I know your acquaintance is great', so he asks him to use his influence with the local gentry. He intends that the deputy will give the warrants to the bailiffs at the assizes for sittings about a fortnight later, starting at Doncaster.

He has got Sir Henry Spelman's Glossary & Councils from the printer to his chamber, but Johnston's brother 'though he promised' hasn't called for them, 'so I thinke they must remayne until Michaelmasse Terme, & then my owne Booke will be ready'. He'll talk to him about the Domesday book at Pontefract. 'The particulars of the late Sea fight I here send you, as I had them extracted from some Letters to one of his Majesties secretaryes of state'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 42


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, 30 June 1665

'According as I wrote to you from London, this bearer is now come to attend you, and to shew you my warrants, which are left with blankes for the days and places; but I thinke the direction which I have allready for the days & places (which he will shew you) may do very well', although Johnston may alter it as he thinks best. He will bring with him St George's visitation of 1612 and that of William Flower 'by the helpe of that excellant man Robert Glover Somerset Herauld' of 1584.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 26


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 1 July 1665

Johnston's letter of 19 June didn't reach him in London, 'but hath (by the post from thence) overtaken me here, at my own house, this morning'. Thanks Johnston for his efforts: 'so farr as my credit will reach amongst them, when I come into the country, I shall not be slack in giving them a right character of that worthy design of yours..Yesterday my deputy (who lives in Shropshire) was with me and received from me my warrants' to be given to the bailiffs of the wapentakes at the York assizes. The deputy will go via Pontefract, arriving 14 July, so he can be at York on Saturday 15 and wait on the judge that evening. The deputy will show Johnston the intinerary, which Dugdale would prefer not to change except 'upon great reason'. If he omitted Bulmer wapentake on the note he sent Johnston, it was through haste. 'The Gentleman whose direction I had, is an expert man, & upon him & Sir Thomas Gowen (his master) I thinke I may safely rely for their knowledge of the Countrey .. This comes to you by way of London (for there is no other conveyance)'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 29


William Dugdale, Knaresborough to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 15 August 1665

'I had made a returne to your kinde Letter which I received at Leedes, had I known how to convey it'. His response to that and the one received that day must be short, on account of his business. For some wapentakes he doesn't think a single man was summoned and attendance at Knaresborough is very 'slender', for reasons he'll explain when they meet, as he hopes, at York. 'I am very glad that your brother fancyes my imployment so well'. He has great hopes of him, on account of his 'ingenious deportment'. He urges that Harry should practice his writing and they'll talk when they meet. 'I shall do your freind Mr Drake (the Subdeane) & your good neighbour Dr all the service I can'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 43


William Dugdale, Skipton to Nathaniel Johnston, 17 August 1665

'My worthy friend, Being in some hast when I wrote to you from Knaresborough, I forgot to desire you to commend my respects to Dr Eyre' and to give him instructions about the warrants for the bailiffs. He hopes Eyre will persuade as many gentlemen of the 'reasonableness, & indeed necessity' of registring their pedigrees. Discusses Drake of Yorkshire's pedigree.

'I am very well pleased that your Brother hath so good a fancy to my kinde of imployment, & wish that he would practise such hands as I direct & improve himself in his Latine what he can: but I doubt whether I can take him to my service as yet, because the sicknesse in London may continue I feare to keepe me from Michaellmasse Terme; so that it may be Hillary Terme, or after ere I shall get thither. And if so, I shall have little imployment for him till then.'

The Countesse of Pembroke is at Appleby castle in Westmerland; but here is a Gentleman with me at Skipton, who goes to her shortly, and I will get him to acquaint her with your designe' - he has no doubt she'll be willing to help.

Complains that the bailiffs 'have played the knaves egregiously' and failed to summon people.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 3


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, 5 October 1665

'Worthy Sir, In order to my next coming into Yorkshire, I have here sent you a Copye of my Catalogue of the Gentry in each Wapentake'. Johnston will be able to see who have entered their descents and who could do with some encouragement from him. Dugdale has also sent his proposed itinerary and appropriate lists for Mr Hopkinson, Sir Solomon Swale and Mr Horsley, so that they can prepare people in their localities, which he asks Johnston to forward. He also asks him 'to put Dr Eyre in minde to further this buisnesse'.

'I hope you take care that your Brother do imploy his time in practising such hands as may be most fitt for him in my buisnesse', practises his arms using Guillim as a model & works on his Latin. 'And I also desire you will teach him to read old hands, in manuscripts Books or old Deedes'. He would like monthly samples, so that he can assess his progress.

Postscript: 'I pray you send me back by this bearer those papers of Armes in the churches, which I left with you, and the Booke which Dr Eyre did helpe you to from me (I meane Glovers Visitation). I cannot possibly spare my other papers at present, till those copyes be done wherewith we are in hand, otherwise I had now sent them'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 17


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, [November 1665]

'Sir, I suppose you will wonder, that you have never heard from me since Mr Keene's returne from Pomfret: but the reason is I never heard from Mr Keene till yesterday, though I had sent severall letters to him by the post, two of which (as he says) never [came] to his hands'. The letter he got from Keene came by a messenger, who brought the old visitation book he had left with Dr Eyre & the church notes he'd left with Johnston and the 'Essays of your little Brother in writing and drawing'. He doesn't think Harry has made any great progress and advises more work on his Latin and his handwriting. He should practice drawing arms, but he doubts he'll use him for landscapes. 'I like his countenance so well, that I have great hopes of him, and therefore do much desire, for his owne sake, as well as yours, to be instrumentall for his preferment; and will stay till Easter Terme, in hope he may be reasonably fitted for me'.

Asks him to tell Mr Horsley that he expects a letter.

'I went to Oxford at the first sitting of the parliament, and there did get Letters from the Lords Commissioners to the justices of peace in the several Ridings' to be communicated at the next Quarter sessions to prepare the gentry for his coming. That for the West Riding has been delivered to 'my good freind' Sir Solomon Swale and for the North to Sir Thomas Gower. He will visit the West Riding only in Lent and reserve the North until the long vacation.

'I hope the sicknesse (by Gods mercy) may so abate in London, that Hillary Terme will be kept there'. He will send warrants for the summons of the gentry in the West Riding as soon as he gets to London by the common carrier with blanks for the times and places.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 5


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 16 November 1665

Enclosing a letter from John Hopkinson; discusses the arrangements for the visitation.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 29 November 1665

He hopes that by the time Johnston receives this, he'll have received the letter written some 4 days ago, which explained the previous delay in writing. He encloses an answer to Mr Hopkinson's letter and discusses the itinerary for his visit to Yorkshire. He hopes the letter Sir Solomon Swale took down from Oxford from the Lords Commissioners to be communicated to the justices at the next Quarter Sessions will prepare the gentry for his coming. He intends to rely on the bailiffs and the Leeds landlord, possibly supplemented by a 'trusty person' that the landlord might recommend.

'I trust in God, that the sicknesse in London may be so abated, that Candlemasse Terme may be kept there', from whence he'll send his warrants.

'I like those essays of your brothers, which you last sent me, much better than those which came by Mr Keene, whereby I see he gets ground.' Mostly he wants him to practice writing 'fit hands' and improve his Latin. He intends to bring the 1612 visitation with him, 'but cannot spare it longer than my stay in the country, it being the Booke of the Office. Those notes of Armes and monuments which I tooke in Yorkeshire before the warr, are in a very thick & large volume in my study in London, with many others of other Counties: so that what you desire thereof must be done in London, the booke being not well portable'.

His sources for descents in the Warwickshire are shown in the margins, as are the printed historians he used 'all which I suppose you may easily have, in case you be not furnisht allready with them .. Some manuscripts I had the use of; most of which I met with in Sir Thomas Cottons library, but some in private hands, cheifly relating to this county'.

'In my last letter I directed how you Letters might come hither safe to me, by Mr Richard Hall of Notingham, a stone cutter. The same I say still'. He rests 'so hoping' to hear from Johnston and 'longing' to hear from Horsley of York.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 38


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 30 December 1665

'Sir, I should not have now troubled you with this Letter; but that I begin to feare that some of myne to you have miscarryed .. I resolve (God willing) to be in London at the beginning of the Terme whence you shall heere from me by the first opportunity by the post .. I hope that Sir Solomon Swale (to whom I lately wrote by the way of London) will do me some kindnesse amongst the Gentlemen at the next Sessions after twelve tyde, upon his delivery of the Letter to them from the Lords Commissioners'. Tells Johnston to direct letters via Mr Thomas Hill at the sign of the Maidenhead in Coleman Street. 'I presume by your next I may see some improvement in you little Brothers hand writing, which will increase by degrees, when he is with me'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 28


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 5 January 1666

'Sir, Though I wrote to you about 4 or 5 days since (by the way of London) yet, having yesterday received a Letter from you, dated the 11th of December (which came to me by the way of Touceter in Northamptonshire, wherein was one inclosed from Mrs Dodsworth) I thought fit to give you an account thereof'. Discusses Henry's writing practice: 'It will not be much materiall whether he meddle much with Armes or other drawings till he come to me, as I conceive, because he may possibly fix upon an ill habit of drawing, without speciall direction'. He reiterates the importance of Latin. He doesn't think it is necessary to come to an agreement with the bailiffs about their recompense beforehand. 'Mine Host at Leedes performed his part very well', though other bailiffs failed to act and he rewarded him beyond his expectation [pour encourager les autres ?] He intends to send his copy of the descents he took & Colonel Fairfax's manuscript with the warrants; but he can't send the 1612 visitation, 'being to deliver it into the Office, as soon as I come up, for the use of the publiq Office all the Terme; hoping to borrow it in the vacation & to bring it with me to Yorke'. He's surprised Johnston hasn't heard from Horsley. When they meet, he'lll tell him how to get what he needs from the public records for his 'designed worke'. He intends to be in London on 24 January, 'and hope by that time the contagion may be totally ceased, this weeks Bill being so comfortable to us. I pray you helpe this inclosed to Mrs Dodsworth'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 30


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, 6 January 1666

'Sir, after I had written & sealed up this inclosed, to be sent to you by the way of London (which is the surest conveyance) I received a Letter from you (this morning) which came also by that way of London, but no date to it; whereby you mention the sending of that Letter to me, wherein that from Mrs Dodsworth was inclosed (to whom I have here returned answere) to be sent to me by way of Derby: but it came to me by the way of Touceter'.

He thinks, since the bailiffs are 'so deceitfull', it would be best for Johnston to find 'two or three honest and trusty persons' to perform the summons for all the West Riding, excluding that part which will be covered by the Leeds landlord. He leaves Johnston to negotiate the price, and he can assure them that Dugdale will further reward good service.

'I do not a little wonder, that any Gentlemen of understanding should frame such objections (as it seems some do) to excuse their not appearance before me, in obedience to his Majesties commission. As to the unseasonableness now, in regard of the present Taxes, I heartily wish we may live to see it better; but as long as this evill spirit of Presbytreanisme reigns in the heart of so many, which will not soone be got out; I fear that his Majestie must be necessitated to preserve himselfe and his good subjects in safety by a military power, the chardge whereof must be borne out by those who take benefit thereby'. As to those who say that their arms 'do inseparably belong to them, as is well known', only the King of Arms can confirm that they are being used correctly with the proper distinctions. As for the marshalling of quarterings, augmentations etc., 'they themselves are not to be trusted by ordinary paynters to do; for if there be not a regularity in these things, there will be such a confusion soone grow, that they will be of no esteeme'. He says that registreing their descents will prove in time to be an advantage, now that the Court of Wards no longer exists. 'As to the Physitian of Yorke, whom you mention, I make great question whether he be a Gentleman himselfe or not: and if so, tis no wonder that such men do so little minde that which concerns them not'. If men won't be satisfied by Johnston with the authority of the King's commission, 'it is not all the reason in the world that will'. He will perform his duty as well as he can and 'shall represent to those who are in authority, what rubs I finde and where .. Sure Mr Horsley would not tell that Doctor, that he had a Deputation from me to performe what I should have done in my Visitation: if he did, he hath wrong'd himselfe and me very much: for the Deputation I gave him was only to paynt such Armes as are proved and allowed by me'. Mr Horsley promised to prepare people against Dugdale's next visit and he's surprised he hasn't heard from him. He asks Johnston to write him a few lines to tell him so and to tell him what the doctor is saying.

'This Terme ensuing will be so short, and my imployment for your Brother so little, in case he were better fitted for it, than he yet is (as I perceive) that his comming to me thither, will not be worth while: Easter Terme will be time enough, and I hop, by that time, he may have improved his hand-writing in some good measure. Sir you see how troublesome I am to you by my tediousnesse'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 37


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 15 January 1666

All his recent letters have been sent via London, since he doubts whether Johnston got any of those sent via Derby and Nottingham. He has 'little confidence' in the bailiffs and it may be a good idea to hire people to do the job. 'Having this morning received advertisement from Oxford, that the increase in the plague in London the last week (though not much) hath caused his Majesty to take new resolutions, so that there will be no part of Hillary Terme kept at Westminster; and only the two last Returnes of it at Windsor; I must now tell you, that I shall not send you those warrants from London, being resolved to stay here at home till I come downe to you, & so to Yorke: and therefore do purpose, so soon as I heare from my son (who is my Lord Chancelours servant, and constantly with him) the certain time when York Assizes will begin, I will send a speciall Messenger unto you at Pomfret with my warrants', etc. Asks Johnston to respond by return of post, enclosed in a paper directed to Thomas Hill, sign of the Maidenhead, Coleman Street. Also asks him to inform Horsley, who he is surprised not to have heard from.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 31


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 20 January 1666

He has received Johnston's letter of 15th January. As he explained in his previous letter written on Monday last, he won't go to London as the increase in sickness means the term will be held in Oxford. 'It seemes, by your letters that Dr Corbet hath satisfyed 2 or 3 of his neighbours in Hull' - asks Johnston to let him know he won't be there until the summer vacation. He's surprised the bailiffs are claiming they weren't 'gratifyed for their paines', as he's sure he did it 'to their owne content'. He relies on Johnston to do what is necessary to ensure the second summons is successful. 'As to your advice for me to write to Sir Godfrey Copley, Sir John Dawney & such others as you conceive to be leading men, I should concur with your judgment, in case I had any manner of acquaintance with them; but for me, being a neere stranger (whom they never saw) to do it, I cannot conceive it proper'. He has received a letter from 'my cordiall freind' Sir Solomon Swale, saying that the letter from the commissioners was read at the Wetherby quarter sessions and that he delivered it to the clerk of the peace, asking him to recommend it to Sir William Lowther & others at their sitting at Wakefield & to Sir Godfrey Copley at Doncaster. 'As for your advice unto me to write to Sir Francis Cob, I would willingly do it, he being my very good freind; but doubtlesse he is out of his Shireevealty, as all others of the last yeare are'.

Postscript: The surest way to direct letters is via Mr Thomas Hill at the Maidenhead, Coleman street in London

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 40


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, 15 February 1666

He has received Johnston's letters of 27 January and 2 February, which inclosed one from Mr Horsley. He has since written to Horsley via London, since letters sent via Derby and Nottingham go astray. He delayed answering, because he was waiting to hear of the date of the York assizes. 'I know very well, that there is care taken that the deputy Lieutenants in all parts should see that the Militia everywhere be in readinesse, considering that the French are so forward to take part with the Dutch, but forasmuch as the Assizes are like to be kept everywhere, I do not thinke it unseasonable to endeavour the perfecting of my worke .. I did write to my good freind Sir Francis Cobb (your High Shireeve) about a weeke since, to desire his furtherance of the buisnesse by exciting the Bayliffs of the Wapentakes, as you advised'. Discusses the warrants. He's willing to give 12d. for each man summoned by the bailiffs, who enteres his descent, but is unwilling to pay for those summoned who do not appear. He thinks that 'my Host at the Kings Head' in Leeds may be trusted to take care of Skyrack Wapentake as well as Leeds. He sends his proposed sittings and asks Johnston to add appropriate places for sitting, where these are left blank. If he thinks Halifax more proper than Bradford, he may change it.

He has written to Dr Eyre, Mr Hopkinson & Mr Hanson of Halifax to solicit their assistance with encouraging the gentry. He intends to be at Pontefract by noon on Friday, 16th March & to ride to York on Saturday, '& speake with my worthy freind Baron Raynsford', who is to ride the circuit alone.

'I presume you see the Weekely Gazetts. My letters this morning from London do say, that they heare by Letters from France and Holland, that Sir Jeremie Smith hath engaged the French in the Mediterrean & tooke & sunke 4 of theire shipps. I heare also, that Sir Christopher Mins hath frighted in the Dutch, & is againe returned'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 6


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Blyth Hall, 18 February 1666

Acknowledging receipt of the warrants and suggesting some changes to the arrangements for the visitation.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 21 February 1666

'Deare Sir, This is to let you know, that my Messenger did returne hither this evening with your kinde Letter, and that I have therefore taken the opportunity of this post (by the way of London) to give you my answere to the particulars therein'. He explains that men claiming descent from families in other parts of the country will require a certificate from the main branch before he can allow them the arms. He will allow them time to get this, once they appear before him. 'If my Messenger could have carryed the Visitation of 1612 I would have sent it to you at this time; but when I returne out of Yorkshire, at this my next comming I will leave it with you till the beginning of Easter Terme: to be sent to me in London: So also my Copy of what I did when I was last there .. I very much thanke you for your care in the better contrivance of my stations; and therefore desire that you will alter the warrants accordingly'. He leaves the choice of inns to Johnston.

Postscript: 'I do no what doubt of your Brothers improvement by my direction & his dilligent care. I thinke as to matter of Armes your Guillim or Vincent will be better for him to imitate than those in Upton, though the first be but from wooden cutts, and Upton from copper'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 22


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 22 March 1666

'Deare Sir, I received your kinde Letter this morning, it being left at my lodging before I was out of Bed; and will take care to fill up those blancks in the descent you mention, if the party do come to me to inform me therein. Colonell Charles Fairfax hath been here, and I have had much discourse with him, though nothing of my Lord Fairfax his entering his Descent. He is this morning gone home to Meneston, where I have promised to be with him on Saturday come sevenight' - he hopes to pursue the question of Lord Fairfax's pedigree then and hopefully wait on Lord Fairfax on his next trip after the summer assizes. He will write to Mr Edmunds about his descent when he gets to Pontefract: 'But the truth is, that I finde many persons unwilling to give in the names of such of their relations, who are in a low condition though I presse them hard to it'. Neither Sir Thomas Osborne or Sir Francis Fane were at the Assizes and few in the West Riding have yet been with him.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 4; Warwickshire Record Office, Z13/9

Written while on visitation, although location not given.


William Dugdale, Ripon to Nathaniel Johnston, 29 March 1666

He is about to leave Ripon for Skipton. Not one man from Claro or Barkeston wapentakes appeared at Ripon or Wetherby. He is disappointed in the bailiffs, especially that for Claro, now the innkeeper at the King's Head in Leeds, 'in whom I had so much confidence having gratifyed him so amply when I was last at his House' and who assured Mr Keene at York that they had all had summons. He was surprised not to see Sir Walter Vavasour at York, who assured him he would be there when he visited him on his journey thither.

He's been taking church notes. Ripon is 'in an ill condition yet, having suffered miserably by the late troubles'. There are few monuments and those have been 'shamefully defaced'. Gregory has taken 2 views of York.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 13


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 10 April [1666]

Sending his brother to Dugdale and referring to his mother's doubts about the clerkship.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, Sheffield to Nathaniel Johnston, 11 April 1666

He was sorry not to see him at Sheffield, but as Johnston's business prevented it he's sending him what he wanted by his brother (i.e. 1612 visitation & his papers). He asks that they should be sent to London for the first day of the next term, when he will be expected to deliver them to the Office.

He is glad that mention of Johnston's mother's doubts provides an opportunityu to clarify the situation re. Harry. For the first year he will be of little use, not knowing the business, but he will aloow him 10 'for your sake'. His work will be transcribing, copying arms, etc., as Gregory does. He won't set a limit on how long he'll keep him, but asks for 6 months notice if his friends find him some new opportunity elsewhere. If he is diligent and becomes proficient, he does not doubt 'that he will not want preferment in the Office of Arms'. As for Johnston's proposal of allowing him to paint & engrave, 'I thinke it will do him more hurt than good'. If the terms are agreeable, they should send him to Dugdale in London, as soon as he assures them it is safe to do so.

He wasn't expecting Johnston to be able to spare much time for collecting pedigrees, in view of his profession and 'the commendable study of the Antiquityes of your Country'.

Mr Hopkinson was gone to Oxford when he was in those parts and hasn't asked to borrow the visitation. If he does, Dugdale will make his excuses and asks for Johnston's discretion.

He is surprised not to have heard from Sir Walter Vavasour or Sir Thomas Osborne.

Postscript: 'I was kindly treated by Dr Eyre at his house at Bramley on Munday night, he taking me thither from Doncaster' and he promised his 'freindly assistance' with encouraging people to submit their pedigrees.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 14


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 14 April 1666

'Sir, This is cheifly to tell you, that I got safe and well hither yesterday evening, but perceive that in putting up those things at Sheffeild, which I sent you by your Brother, my catalogue (which is sticht up in a parchment cover, together with the maps of the severall Ridings) was in that hast put up with them: therefore I desire you will have the like care of returning them, with the Booke and other papers, as I presume you will take of them, so that they may be in London, & directed to me at the Heraulds Office, by the first day of next Terme'.

'And now that I have sayd this; presuming that by this time your mother & your selfe, with all other the freinds of your little Brother, have considered and resolved whether you will dispose of him to me upon the termes in my last letter exprest, I shall desire, that if you so determine, you will let me know your minds by the next returne of the Post. The letter should be directed to Blyth and sent via John Dugdale at Worcester House in the Strand. 'I hope I need not remind you (in case you shall resolve of placing him with me) to take care, that he have fit and fashionable apparell, with lynnen, and everything necessary'. He asks Johnston to ensure that Harry practises writing neatly and straight, 'because I saw, that inhis writing at Sheffeild he wrote very crooked .. There is one thing more, which I then observed, that in some words (though he wrote by my Copy) he wrote false English, which is a very great error, and shews, that his schoolmaster is a negligent person'.

It would be a service to the 'reall Gentry, as well as to the King (who is the Fountaine of Honour)', if Johnston could identify 'the inferior sort', who use arms without right, 'to the end I might blast them by publique Disclaymer'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 24


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, 3 May 1666

'Sir, This is cheifly to tell you, that I came yesterday hither, but finding that the sicknesse hath increased 16 this last weeke (though it decreased as many the weeke before) I cannot be importunate with you in sending up your little Brother: therefore I shall wholy leave it to your discretion whether to adventure him as yet or not. If you send him, we will be sure to have all care of him that may be, in giving him (as we take our selves) some good Antidote every morning. Here is not much News, save that of &c. of the eight Traytors on Munday last, & the Tryall of my Lord Morley that day, who was found guilty of Manslaughter only. Sir George Cooke of Wheatley neere Doncaster was this day with me & entred his descent & I heare that Sir Roger Langley was to enquire for me.

I hope by the end of this weeke to receive from you the booke and papers. So, in some hast at present I rest your most affectionate freind & servant'.

Postscript: 'I will send you that deputation by some Carryer the next weeke'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 10


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Heralds' Office, [7] May 1666

Confirming the sending of some of the borrowed manuscripts by carrier and confirming Henry will bring the others with him the following week.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Heralds' Office, 16 May 1666

Confirming that the carrier left the manuscripts with the stationer Mr Pulleyn in St Paul's churchyard.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Heralds' Office, 18 May 1666

Concerning the Bland patent and asking that Henry should have a formal apprenticeship.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, [June 1666]

'I do not expect any thing from Mr Horsley till the next spring; and then what he sends me you shall have perusall of it .. In the descent I last sent you signed of Birckbeck of Sheffield, there is a mistake .. it seems your hand by reason of writing in such hast being not well legible, so that I and Gregory tooke it to be James, untill after my man was gone, Harry looking at your paper and knowing the boy, sayd it should be Samuell. For ought I know there may be more such, for in names ill Letters may spoile all'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 88

undated fragment


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Heralds' Office, 5 June 1666

Acknowledging receipt of his deputation and asking for clarification concerning fees etc. Asks for news of the Dutch war.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, [June 1666]

'Worthy Sir, I received yours of the 5th instant: and as to my Deputation, there is no doubt, but it is full enough and will satisfy any man that shall see it, who hath understanding, and is sensible of his own interest. If some of those that are so backward did heare how many persons, who coming hither to search for their descents and finde nothing, do curse their Ancestors for their neglect in so necessary a worke, it would certainly awaken them .. As for impowring you to peruse any mans Evidences, I cannot do it: for I have no authority, other then proposing it to them in a freindly manner, excepting for proofe of what they alledge further than their own knowledge reaches .. Perhaps when you shall rationally informe Sir Thomas Wentworth (who I presume much misapprehands this buisnesse) he will do what becomes a Gentleman of his quality herein. If my Lord of Strafford shall thinke fit to do as other great Lords have formerly done in this case, I shall refer myself to him what to give, be it more or lesse'. Sir George Savile & Mr Odingsells entered their descents in Nottinghamshire. The Archbishop may choose to follow the example of the Bishops of Durham and Carlisle, in which case a knight's fee seems appropriate. He will recompense Johnston for his trouble 'what you think fitt'.

'I have now rectifyed such mistakes as you found in my papers, which were not so many as you pointed out in my originalls'. He deals with Johnston's queries concerning the Rodes pedigree and the visitation of Kent. The first volume of the1574 visitation of Kent 'was stolen out of this Office in the timeof Cromwell and his fellow saints'. He hasn't had a descent from Mr Middleton, sheriff of Northumberland, as he claims: 'so that if this Gentleman did send to me, those whome he employed deceived him'.

'Your Brother Samuell lives in a House with one Mrs Stephens in Plow-Stables Alley adjoyning to Lincolne Inne feilds .. Your Brother Henry hath been practising to write a better hand ever since he came to me, and doth begin to men, though somewhat slowly'.

'The Gazet (which I suppose you have seen before this) will better informe you of the issue of the late sea fight than I can. We have had great losse, but we do here conclude that our Adversaries have had thrice as much both in their Shipps, and men'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 39


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Heralds' Office, 16 June 1666

Concerning his deputation and his lack of success in securing compliance.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, June 1666

'I have a catalogue of the Northumberland gentry from Benedict Horsley'. He has given him a deputation and doesn't doubt he will 'do me very good service', when he visits Northumberland and Durham in August and September.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 115

undated fragment


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 24 June 1666

Conveying the earl of Strafford's displeasure that Dugdale did not call on him.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, 10 July 1666

'Worthy Sir, I received your Letter by Mr Dixon, and do not a little mervaile that the Earle of Strafford could expect my coming to his House when I was in Yorkshire, having no other colour of buisnesse with his Lordshipp. Truly Sir I am and always have been a great honourer of his Lordshipp for his own and his noble fathers sake; but how to intrude upon him, or any other of whom I have not merited something I know not how to do it. That knowledge his Lordshipp had of me some yeares before the kings restoration was by Mr Gascoigne, his Lordshipp then having a house in Lincolns Inne feilds, where I sometimes wayted upon him, and has his faire report: but it so hapning, that Mr Gascoigne, who the neerer he grew towards his end, did grow peevish and doted, not obtained his ends from my Lord Hatton in getting some Manuscripts into his hands which he desired became very angry with me as the occasion thereof in his conceit; so that having no good lookes nor freindly words from him as formerly, I forbore to wayt on my Lord of Strafford as formerly, in regard of the offence Mr Gascoigne would have taken thereat (who had his cheif support and livelyhood as tis well known from the bounty of his Lordshipp). And I do assure you, as my very good freind, that had I thought that my Lord would not have apprehended it to have been a kinde of unmannerly presumption, I would have wayted on my Lord when I was in Yorkeshire: and this I intreat you to let his Lordshipp know when you have opportunity to see him; for I have no thoughts towards him but what are very honourable and should be very glad to serve him, to my power, upon any just occasion: and thus much I am sure his servant Mr Bagaley (who is my most intimate freind) knows full well.'

He intends to be in York on Friday 10 August, lodging the night before at Doncaster; they could meet at Ferribrigg on the way. 'The Doctor of Phisick (who is the Antiquary) lives at Car Colston in Notinghamshire'. He delivered a copy of Origines Juridiciales directed to Johnston to Pell the carrier, who left London on 9 July.

'Your Brother is not so dextrous at my buisnesse as I thought he would have been: but I am content to expect better; hoping that he being of a milde disposition, and not subject for ought I yet see to any extravagancies, he may, with that constant care and studious directions which he hath from me, and extraordinary helpes by my man Gregorys example and patterns, make some reasonable improvement in good time'.

He has seen Sir John Lewes, Sir George Cooke, Sir Roger Langley, Sir Thomas Gascoigne & Sir George Wynn about their descents in London. He's surprised he hasn't heard from Sir George Vavasour [?Walter]. He asks Johnston to let Dr Eyre know he'll be at Doncaster on 9 August.

'Here is no News of conference of peace, the Fleet being not yet gone out. The kinge goes to Dover this weeke as I heere'. He will leave London for Warwickshire on Thursday, so any letters should be sent via John at Worcester House in the Strand.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 33


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 16 July 1666

Johnston's letter of 10 July didn't reach London before he left & had to be sent on to Warwickshire. It seems Johnston had a largely unsuccessful visit to Halifax, which Dugdale puts down to lack of preparation of the ground beforehand.

'We are not so well setled as yet, considering the late confusions, and present disturbances by the Dutch and French, as that things can be brought into order quickly. The truth is, that after the king resolved to put the office of Earle Marshall into the hands of Commissioners, there were so many that became desirous of that Honour, that their number swelled to no lesse than eight, so that now no one of them taking himself to be much concerned therein, in regard there are so many of the number, there is a totall neglect amongst them; which is not to be helpt at present, not till that office be fixt in a single person'. Consequently, all he can do with those who slight the king's authority by refusing to appear, is to disclaim them publicly. When he was with Colonel Fairfax, he told him he would be at York for the assizes, since it would not be out of his way on the journey to Durham. On his return out of Northumberland he intends to sit at 3 places in the East Riding, about which he'll give directions to Horsley. 'I must of necessity dispatch my visitation before Easter Terme next, so that I purpose to make my disclaymers at the Assizes in Lent week.' He will recompense Johnston for his pains, but warns against over enthusiasm. He asks him to tell Dr Eyre that he'll be at the Angel in Doncaster on Thursday night, 9 August 'and do hope to see him there, and you also, or at Ferrybrigg in my passage the day following. I pray you tell Mrs Dodsworth, that I know nothing of the knight in Buckinghamshire she mentions, nor can tell how to enquire whether he be living or not'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 27


William Dugdale, York to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 13 August 1666

'Sir, Having now stated my removes in this intended journey, I herewith send you a copy thereof; whereby you will see when and where I shall be at each place.' If Johnston tells those in the East Riding 'you have an interest in', who will also get notice from Horsley, they'll be more likely to appear. 'I merveile that I never heard of Sir Walter Vavasour, who promised me the last yeare to come hither to us .. I thinke I shall have but few with me here at Yorke whilst I stay here'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 25


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Blyth Hall, 24 September 1666

Concerning the patent for the Bland baronetcy.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, 9 October 1666

'Sir, I have herewith sent my servant to you, to be at Pomfret according to the punctuall time you directed by one of those two Letters, which I received from you by way of London since I last saw you.' He sends a packet to be sent on to Mr Horsley at York, the 'Linnen money Bagg' which he borrowed and 'upon the stick rolled up you shall receive all those descents with Armes signed by me, as you also desired.' They have no vellum, 'otherwise that for your freind Mr Stables should have been done therein'.

He intends 'God willing' to be in London on 24 October, but not to stay more than a week or 10 days: 'having nothing to do which is very considerable, that I know of, other than the bringing my Books and papers, with what else was saved from the Fire to London, and there fixing them in Mr Ashmoles lodgings in the Middle Temple Lane till I can better settle myself there for businesse, which I doubt (as things stand at present) will hardly be till our Office be rebuilt, so great a discomposure hath this late dreadfull fire made amongst us, and indeed in most mens affayres and buisnesse.'

'As to that buisnesse relating to the noble Lady at Kippax and her son, I do somewhat merveile at the Schoolmasters expressions, concerning his seeing the patent and the instances he gives thereof; and am of opinion that he is grosly mistaken'. He explains that since they have the bill under the king's hand, it can't have passed the great seal, as that would have been the Lord Keeper's warrant. Nor is it in the docquet book kept by the Clerk of the Crown. Nor did the king's servants receive their fees, 'I being at Notingham at that time my selfe, and never heard anything of it'. Nor will the flourishings on the document they have prove anything, since they would have been produced in London and sold by the stationers there; grants made after the king left Westminster are plainer.

'If you give me the direction where Sir William Lowther lodges I will wayt on him when I come to London and speake with him about it, if the Lady so please; and advise with him what will be most fit to be done in as the case stands. Mr Kepps who now carries the Seale before my Lord Chancelour is my most intimate freind and of long acquaintance; he also carryed the Seale before the Lord Keeper Littleton, and kept a Docquet booke likewise'. He will speak with him & the clerks who kept the tally books then, 'where the dischardge of the thousand pounds should be entred'.

'I am as carefull as possible to instruct your brother, and to improve him all that may be. I most finde fault with him, that when he doth well he falls off again, which is mere carelessnesse: but I hope I shall hold him up to it a little better.. I will leave Gregory behind me, when I go to London cheifly to direct and instruct him; and shall engage him what I can to do it effectually, so far as such a cunning Hocus pocus as he is can be engaged'.

He will write speedily when he is in London. 'I pray you see to the handsome packing up of those Bookes which my Lord Fairfax now lends me, in the portmantu'. He details what he'd like looked at and noted in Dodsworth's books. 'In the Books at Nun-Appleton there are Indexes to the names of the persons, whereby that which is in them thereof will be the more easily found'. While he is in London, letters should be directed to Ashmole's lodging in Middle Temple Lane.

Postscript: Asks for return of papers. Encloses warrants for Johnston, Dr Eyre and Mr Hopkinson.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 18


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 13 October 1666

Acknowledging receipt of Dugdale's letter and accompanying parcel.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Blyth Hall, 14 October 1666

Concerning three descents that he has managed to obtain and the copying that he would like his brother Henry to do for him. He wants Gregory King to teach Henry to draw.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, [October 1666]

Johnston's letter of 13th instant reached him in the country via London. He did the best he could with Sir John Savile's descent. They have no vellum in the country, so can't produce the escutcheon Mr Stables wanted. It isn't worth bestowing so much labour and cost on parchment, since the colours will peel off 'as I have had frequent experience'. His visitations of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Cheshire are in London amongst the books of the Office and the rough copies are deposited in a chest there, as agreed to avoid the herald painters of London buying up copies from the executors of kings of arms. Westmorland, Cumberland and Lancashire are transcribed, but not bound or checked; this will happen when 'things are better settled'. He intends that his brother should copy the arms of the Yorkshire gentry, so that once Mr Horsley has copied them, Johnston may have them to dispose of as he wishes.

He complains about Harry's lack of progress in writing. 'It was five weeks at least after he came to me, that I made him only practise the very Letters of the Alphabet, to bring him to a tolerable good hand, and then put him to joyning; and did hope he would have written strait by a line'. He will be a 'fumbler' despite Dugdale's efforts and the good example of Gregory. 'Sir you may be assured I will do him all the good I can; but you know, that quolibet ligno non fit Mercurius'.

'Sir, here is such a wofull spectable [sic] of these miserable ruines, that I cannot behold them without a very sad Heart, and therefore having setled that little I have left in some reasonable sort, I shall returne, and follow my studyes in the country. The Coppy of my intended work for the Cathedralls & Collegiate churches whereof I told you (and wherein the printer had made a beginning and printed thirty sheets before Spelmans were taken on, and then stopt, which cost me in printing & paper no lesse than fifty pounds) is burnt, through the base carelessenesse of my printer, as I perceive.'

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 11


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 26 October 1666

Concerning a messenger being sent to London about the Bland patent.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, London, November 1666

Commiserates with Dugdale over the loss of the Monasticon manuscript. He hopes Henry will become sufficently proficient to earn a living as a provincial herald painter.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, 13 November 1666

For 'my own particular losses .. there is no helpe but patience'. He indicates that he has stayed in London longer than he intended.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 21

The right side of the paper is lost.


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, [November 1666]

'Sir, I received your Letter by My Lady Blands servant upon his comming up hither, and have dispatcht that businesse in her and her son's behalfe much easier, and with farr lesse chardge than I did expect when I last saw you; it hapning that Sir John Marsham who was one of the Sir Clerks in Chancery at the time when the late king did signe the Bill was with us all along in the wax, and to whom peculiarly the Enrollment thereof did appertaine and he being my especiall freind in whom I have great interest, hath effected the buisnesse as you will see, which I could not have so done by any other, but must have been constrayned to have petitioned the king, and to have got a new patent from him, which would have been at least 140li chardges considering the kings servants fees and all other things incident to the carrying on thereof.'

He hasn't yet been able to examine the Kentish books, as they haven't been brought to the place assigned to them: 'Vzt the Queenes Court at Westminster, being at the lower end of the Court of Requests'. It will have to wait until he next comes to London, which may not be until Easter.

Complains about Johnston's handwriting, which becomes illegible when he rushes. Letters should be sent via John Dugdale at Clarendon House, 'and let them be thin, and as little paper, as well may be, in regard it will otherwise double the chardge'.

'I have done my Lady Bland singular service in her buisnesse, all the chardges not amounting to ten pounds'. He has received 10 from her servant and what more she pleases to give him should be sent via John. The Six Clerk and his clerk, the carrier of the great seal & the clerk of the Crown who were concerned in the original patent, 'all of them being my speciall freinds, whom I had much obliged by former services, and now most fortunately alive', he was able to effect it without incurring the feared charges.

He is leaving London that morning and doesn't know yet whether he'll return for Hillary term.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 9

Written at end of first visit to London after Great fire - date taken from Diary


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Blyth Hall, 21 November 1666

Concerning his antiquarian interests, what he wants his brother to copy and his desire for a copy of Domesday for Yorkshire. Via John at Clarendon House

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 1 December 1666

'In that Letter I wrote to you by my Lady Blands servant, I gave you an account of my treaty with Mr Fauconbridge concerning the copy of Domesday booke for Yorkshire' - 20li with 10li advance, the copy to be begun and finished in Easter term. 'My Earle of Strafford is slow at payment of money, I heard the kings servants grumble much at his neglect of payment', they having solicited Sir Edward Walker to write to him about it.

Red ink 'as you call it' is simply gum water in vermilion finely ground, which he can get from Horsley in York. The black is common ink. Henry is copying the arms of the Yorkshire gentry, which he may have when Horsley is finished with it. He hopes that 'by practice he will have a pretty good hand at those things', although his writing still disappoints.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 41



Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, [1667]

'Honoured Sir,

You entrd the descent of the Family of Thoresby at Leedes & they desire a pedigree & scutcheon signed as I formerly intimated to you. My good friend Mr John Thoresby of Leedes will appoint one to waite upon you to pay for it. Theire is no doubt but that they are descended from Thoresby of Thoresby in Yorkshire who allwaies bore the armes they claime & if you thinck theire may be any other families that bearing the same armes may thinck themselves injured; I pray you assign some difference of a Besant Trefoyle or any such minute distinction that may not blemish the bearing which will be all that will be needfull & in which doing you will gratifye my friend & oblige

Sir your faithfull friend & servant'.

British Library, Stowe 745, 14


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 9 March 1667

'I must tell you, that through my constant care and directions (for I am perpetually with him & my other man whose help for instruction he hath daily had) your brothers hand is excedingly amended, both in drawing & writing; soe that, now he sees how he is improved, I doubt not, but with care he will still be growing to a better perfection .. I thinke, I formerly intimated to you, that he hath copyed all the Armes out of my visitation for Mr Horsley .. I resolve to send them to Mr Horsley [with] direction to deliver them to you, when he hath made use of them, for a copye for himselfe.'

'About the beginning of Easter Terme I am (God willing for London) to dispatch some things for two or three gentlemen which I had begun, and that being done to returne hither till the publiq troubles be somewhat blown over, and our lodgings rebuilt, which I hope we shall ere long take care to begin with. So that my imployments thus ceasing for a time, I shall then returne your Brother to you for the present; and if I see, that I shall have anything fitt to employ his hand in, I will most willingly receive him again if you can spare him: for I like his disposition very well; and if it please God to blesse us with peace and some reasonable imployment I doubt not but to fitt him for some handsome preferment'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 85



Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Blyth Hall, 16 March 1667

Expressing unhappiness at the idea of his brother being returned home, especially as his mother always suspected that his employment by Dugdale would be short term. Suggests that his active involvement in the visitation was by way of a quid pro quo for Dugdale employing his brother.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, [March 1667]

He received Johnston's letter of 16th this morning. 'And as to the copy for my Lord of Strafford I have engaged my sonn to solicite the hastening of it'. He will do what he can when he is in London to expedite it, but it is 'a tedious worke', can only be done for a short time each day, must be done exactly and the clerk is old and infirm. He has received a gratuity from Lady Bland, for which he is sure Johnston was partially responsible, although others thought his work in the matter was worth at least £50. He reminds Johnston that he had told him he couldn't keep Harry after the Fire and he's told Gregory's father the same. On his return to London, he found his papers had been confused and mixed while being taken to Twickenham. He must now retire until their office is rebuilt and they have work again. He has some copying work for Mr Clavering of Northumberland & Sir Thomas Delves of Cheshire, which will keep Gregory temporarily employed. Rather than be idle, Dugdale will work in the Tower on his Baronage. He likes Harry's disposition so well, he'll keep him for a year, unless Johnston wouldn't rather employ him on his own work. While Gregory has come to London to do the copying, he can't bring Harry up; but he will keep him in Warwickshire and supply his diet, washing and lodging. Gregory has to lodge with Ashmole's servant.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 120

undated fragment


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Blyth Hall, 11 April 1667

Agreeing that his brother should remain in Warwickshire on Dudgale's terms.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, [April 1667]

Responding to Johnston's letter of 11 April; he is in London a week early to attend the St George's feast in Whitehall.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 114


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, London, 28 April 1667

Responding to Dugdale's letter of 22 April and telling him of the find of a bag of relics in the collegiate church at Howden.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 4 May 1667

'Sir, I received yours of Apr: 28th by which you desire me to send the des[cent] of George Booth of Critling Parke when I send the rest. I have forgot what [you] meane by the rest .. I heare of nothing in the presse nor publisht of any note, but somewhat of Dr Merret's concerning plants which will be out shortly as Mr Ashmole says. As for what was found at Houden I know not what to say, being not very credulous that those things are reall. If the Bishopp should enquire after them the vulgar people would confidently say he was a papist, especially considering how the presbytreans do hate him for his regularity .. The Embassadors are now gone, & ere long we shall heare from them I presume and that the French are in Flanders or Brabant with an Army which will produce strange alterations in the world you may be sure'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 91


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, Blyth Hall, 20 May 1667

Discusses various matters concerned with the visitation and asks Dugdale to let his brother Henry have some money, as he's not dared to tell his mother of the new arrangements. Postscript: asks about a new deputation, as his will soon expire.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 9 July 1667

'Sir, This is cheifly to tell you, that though some extraordinary occasions have detained me here longer then I expected, I am now resolved for the Country upon this day sevenight, and to be at home on Saturday following, having some buisnesse in Northamptonshire, which will hinder us a little. God grant I find your brother so good a proficient in his practise of writing & drawing as I wish, when I returne. He hath not wanted for good direction. I now part with my man Gregory for want of imployment, which troubles me not a little considering he can do so well. The times are so bad, that he is constrayned to submit to very meane termes for a subsistance.'

'I heare nothing of that other ten pounds for Mr Falconbridge, so that it must now stay till Michaelmasse Terme; for I believe I must be here at that time in regard of the parliament sitting, and some little buisnesse concerning our Office, which will require my presence.'

'I intend to send those Bookes of my Lord Fairfaxes unto you about Michaelmasse, and then I shall let you know more of your Brother. His want of Latine will be of great prejudice to him; for he can neither write true Latine by a true copy, nor true English, he is so deficient. I will imploy him in some thing or other for this next winter to continue his practise of his hand .. these unhappy troubles and the destr[uction] of our Office by the Fire hath put an end to all my imployment [where]by I had any benefit.'

'We are in good hopes of a peace, but I cannot tell you on what termes, one of the Commissioners being purposely come over from Breda about some things which (it seemes) are insisted on'.

Postscript: 'There is newly printed a faire Catalogue of all the Baronets of K. James, his time, and K. Charles the first & this king. If you send for it, observe if you finde any literall errors in the names of persons or places'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 92


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 19 August 1667

'Sir, This morning I received yours of Aug: the 12th. Mr Ashmole being here & returning now for London. I can say nothing of those particulars of the Armes or pedegrees you mention till I come to London, all my papers of that countie being left there .. All my visitations of every county, except Yorkshire, Northumberland and the Bishoprick .. are delivered into our Office, the last (vizt Westmorland Cumberland and Lancashire in Easter Terme last)'. His colleagues are concerned about copies falling into the hands of the herald painters, 'who have been the ruine of our Office by getting such into their hands from the Executors of those who have formerly visited'.

'Concerning my Lord Fairfaxes books. Those three of the Pipe Rolls Dr Thoroton (our fellow Antiquary of Nottinghamshire) having been here with me hath had, having all the rest upon the score of Dr Harcourt's interest with my Lord: and promises to restore them very shortly with care and safety'. Dugdale intends to return the books from London. 'I resolve that your Borther (as you desire) shall bring you those Bookes of my Lords towards the end of the next month, or sooner'. Dugdale has had Harry copying the arms of the visitations of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Lancashire, which otherwise his deputies would have done themselves. He's copied Yorkshire records during Dugdale's absence and now he'll get him to copy a Staffordshire visitation of 1586, which Dugdale borrowed from William Pierpont before leaving London, 'the originall being not in our office, but lost'.

'I know not what to say to the revivall of our imployments, though we have peace. God grant it; If so I shall be most willing to entertain your Brother before any other because he is faire conditioned'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 93


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, 3 October 1667

He deferred answering Johnston's last until it could be sent with his brother & Fairfax's books. 'Though it is not our use' to provide copies of pedigrees without payment, he'll make an exception for 'some few' that are Johnston's friends. 'I have often desired you, and do still, that you will not be importunate with any man to [enter] his descent in this visitation; and but to represent to them the advantage it may [be to] their posteritys to do it .. Neither would I have you to move any one in that kinde, but those that are of good [fa]milies and known to have an antient right to Armes .. Sir, I dare not give way to the making any Transcripts of those visitations youn mention', for although Johnston wants them for antiquarian purposes, they may cause the Office injury after his death. When Johnston goes to London, he should be able to make notes from the copies in the Office. Johnston has all the Yorkshire descents Dugdale currently has. He asks Johnston to get his brother to correct the descents taken the previous year, where 'divers grosse errors in your transcripts' due to bad handwriting have caused names to be wrongly recorded. 'As for that pedigree of Mr Thwaits, which he pretends he entred in anno 1646 which was in the heat of the late Rebellion, I know nothing thereof; nor do I value what was done by those knaves who then were in our office .. I doubt that Sir Henry Spelmans first volume of his Councells is not to be had, the late fire having burnt up those Pauls churchyard Booksellers who had what was left of the Impression'. The Book of Baronets is being sold by Mrs Seile, who has moved to a new house near St Dunstan's, Fleet Street.

'As for your brother, I shall be most willing to do him all the good I can .. As for my man Gregory, for want of better preferment .. I was constrayned to leave him with my Lord Hatton; who being a person that much delights in Antiquities and Heraldry (though upon reason of his great debts and other misfortunes stirrs not out of his House) doth for his better diversion of sad thoughts, imploy him in making a collection of as many granted Coats of Arms as he can discover' - for this Gregory gets 10 a year, though eh doesn't know how long it'll last. No-one in the Office is in need of a clerk, because of the lack of work due to the fire and war. 'When I last left London I was in no small hopes of some good advantage to support me in studdye, by my late Lord Chancelour's favour; but he is now fallen, who was the best freind in the world' and John has gone to serve the new Lord Keeper. Henry - 'The best improvement of his Hand is in his drawing Armes. As for his writing he mends but slowly in it .. I pray you let Harry returne from you about the middle of next weeke, in regard my Nage must have some rest before I go towards London', where he intends to be lodging with Ashmole in Middle Temple Lane by the first day of term.

Asks him to forward enclosed letter to Mr Horsley.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 94


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 9 October 1667

Henry has been home and given a good report of his tretment by Dugdale. His brother hopes that Dugdale will continue to keep him. He explains his failure to sent any fees back with Henry and other matters to do with the visitation.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, [October 1667]

'Worthy Sir, being now come to London I have taken the first opportunity to salute you, and to thank you for the Token you sent to my wife, she having then got a great cold, so that it came very seasonably to and did her much good, as she believes'. He has brought some of the licorice with him to London, in case he gets a cold. He has left his brother in Warwickshire transcribing the books of pedigrees borrowed from Mr Pierpoint. 'I see he is very forgetfull, and very subject to make mistakes'. What he is doing is bringing in very little money. Dugdale has no need of an amanuensis and none of the heralds keep clerks, except Walker because he is clerk to the council. 'I did hope that upon the settlement of peace with the French & Dutch that things might have better framed than they do'. He has spent 5 on clothes for Harry.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 119

undated fragment


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 26 October 1667

He hopes to get Horsley's entries by the end of term and will let Johnston have copies. He again complains about Johnston's handwriting - he had to return a previous letter which had pedigrees written on the back of it for clarification, so he needs Johnston to remind him which pedigrees he wants copies of. He'll have to be patient for the copies, since with the departure of Gregory Dugdale has no one to copy them in London and must wait until he returns to Warwickshire.

Postscript: 'I write no Newes because I know you have the sight of the Gazett, or other Letters which will better informe you'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 95



Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, London, 28 October 1667

Concerning the completion of the record of the visitation and a local lawsuit involving the records of a former convent.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 9 November 1667

'I understand that my Lord of Strafford is in London. I met accidentally with a servant of his since I came hither, who asked me concerning that transcript of Domesday: I told him it was ready, whenever my Lord should give order to bring the other ten pounds to Mr Fauconbridge, but I heere nothing more of him'. Thinks it'll be best, if Johnston sends remaining descents and money via carrier.

Postscript: Mr Horsley in York writes that he hasn't received the letter from Dugdale via Johnston. 'As to Newes, all I can tell you is, that after the greatest part of this weeke spent in debating of the Articles against the late Lord Chancelour, it came this day to the vote .. as I am told that it was carryed by 70 voices in the House of Commons.'

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 97



Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, London, 10 November 1667

Concerning the outstanding descents and his brother's future, which he thinks may be as a herald painter and hopes Dugdale will help him to obtain training. Sends Ashmole a message about the collection of rareties by a Leeds surgeon, which is for sale.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, London, 18 November 1667

Concerning pedigrees and asking for latest news concerning the duke of York and Clarendon.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, 24 November 1667

'Sir Thomas Herbert hath sent me a catalogue of those coynes and rarities at Yorke which Mr Leech the [sur]geon had got together, which I have shewd to Mr Ashmole, and also to Dr Barlow (now in London) .. who hath taken some time to consider of them in behalf of [the] university: but Mr Ashmole tells me, that he supposeth my Lord Fairfax will be the best chapman; for he says that it is but a mean collection and will not be much esteemed by those who well understand such things: neverthelesse [he] will impart the buisnesse to the Royall Societie here, whereof he is a member, and endeavour to advance the [sale] of them what he can, remembring his hearty respects & service to you. I have sent you two if the Catalogues of the Baronets wherein you will finde Sir Thomas Bland .. The rate of them is twelvepence a peice, so I payd for them .. I shall stay here about a fortnight after the Terme ends; but intend to be here again (God willing) in [Hilary] terme: If you send any money for me in my absence, direct your letter to my sonne (Mr John Dugdale) at [Essex] house; for he wayts on my Lord Keeper in the same place & condition that he did on the la[te] Lord Chancelour'. [Essex house is in the Strand near Temple Bar, the Lord Keeper lodging there.]

'I intend that your brother shall transcribe those pedegrees for you which yet you have not, when I returne [to] keepe my Christmasse in the country. I will give him the 3 Capps which Mr Oates brought. As for News you will heare it at a quicker hand than this is brought to you. The D. of York [is] well recovered (God be thanked). He had but a few of the small pox. The businesse concerning the late Chancelour stands at a stay yet'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 87



Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 15 December 1667

Concerning various pedigrees. Postscript: promises to write to Lord Strafford about the Domesday transcript.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, [1668]

Is sending letter to await Dugdale in London, confirming that he has 'at last' seen a copy of the pedigrees taken by Horsley.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham



William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, 25 January 1668

'Worthy Sir, Being newly come up to London, I have taken the first opportunity of the post to salute you. That part of Thoresbye's pedegree which you sent to your brother I have added to the other & perfected it according to your paper; and should be very glad to see some good authority for the arms .. As for signing those pedegrees of Horne, Favell and Kellam, to testifye I have entred them in my visitation, let them be true or false, they certifying them, I shall not scruple at it; but unlesse they can produce something to shew a prescription for usage of the Armes from the beginning of Q. Eliz. time or higher, I must not allow the Armes .. If they be such freinds of yours as that you would have me do a kindnesse for them for your sake, I pray you say so, and I will give them their Entrances (which are allready done throughout both my large copyes) gratis'. Discusses arms & pedigrees. 'Of those which Mr Horsley hath sent me, your brother hath sent you copyes .. And I have written to Mr Horsley that he should not enter any more descents for me then what there is very [good] proofe for the Armes as aforesaid: and as much I have often intimated to you. I [intend to] binde up my Booke this Terme & deliver it into the Office, it being earnestly called for by my fellows; so that what comes after into it, must be by their assent & permission as well as my owne.'

'I shall stay here till a fortnight after the Terme I thinke, having left your brother those Armes Monuments & Epitaphs of Yorkeshire which my selfe tooke, & an old visitation of Staffordshire to transcribe faire for practise of his hand; all which with what he hath already done of that kinde I purpose to give to our Office. I heartily wish that he did improve in the hand writing so as it might be gracefull; but notwithstanding all my endeavours with him, he mends but little therein; In his drawing of Armes he doth much better.'

'Thus far I had written ere your letter dated 21st instant came to my hands' - responds to it [the heralds' books show no Corbets in Staffordshire, although they are important in Shropshire. He finds fault with Thoresby, Favell, Kellam & Horne evidence offered.] 'I have not yet been at our office, but intend to be there within 2 or 3 days', when he'll look for the book of Henry St George, Norroy, mentioned by Johnston re. arms of Walker of Sykehouse. 'If you thinke fit to imploy any judicious person to search in the Bookes of our office [let] them enquire for Mr Francis Sandford now Rouge-Dragon, who is every day there, [a] very knowing man in point of Armes and pedegrees, who will search for him. {The] Fee being but twelve pence for each search .. Mr Sandford is there both in Terme & out of Terme'.

'I have spoke to Mr Ashmole to look amongst his Roman Coynes to that pu[rpose] you mention (there being nothing of the Saxon of that nature) who will shortly [an]swere me therein .. My late servant Gregory is with my Lord Hatton in Northamptonshire, & will not be in London till Easter Terme at soonest; so that for Copyes of pedegrees, except he were here, I cannot very well make them for any. If they doubt whether I do enter them in my Booke which is to be delivered in to the Office, let them imploy somebody to see .. I have this day delivered the Booke of my Lord Fairfaxes which I did not restore when I sent the rest to you, unto one Will: Pell a Carryer of Yorke, directing it to you at Pontefract .. There were two other Tomes of pedegress gathered by Mr Dodsworth, I pray you let me know whether you have them in your hands, or know where they are; for they were not amongst those Bookes at Appleton when I saw them.'

'I thanke you for your direction touching the payne in my back but I will advise here now I am amongst my acquaintance, where I can expresse how it is, and the cause thereof. So wishing you good health, I rest your most assured friend & servant'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 84


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, London, 28 January 1668

Responding to the issues raised in Dugdale's letter of 25 January. Postscript: enquires about the heralds' bill to require registration and asks for more copies of the catalogue of baronets.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, [February 1668]

He has received his of 28th January. Mr Ashmole is 'much busyed' with other matters and can't attend to coins, 'nor do I thinke he will trouble himself to make such draughts as you mention, if he had more leisure'. Despite the shortcomings of Dodsworth's pedigrees of the old nobility, he'd be glad to see them in Easter term. Mentions bill promoted by the Office in the Commons.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 116

undated fragment


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 8 February 1668

'Whether this Bill will passe I cannot tell you; for though no good reason can be given against .. some men are so perverse that they make objections against it .. William Louther of Yorkshire is one of the cheif and most forward.'

'I have this day delivered to the Carryer ten more of those Baronets bound in worse leather than those two you had; for which I payd 7s 6d having 2s 6d abatement because I tooke so many together, & not so costly bound as the other. As for the ranking of them, there is no question to be made that the Catalogue is right; for I assure you I tooke it from the Docquet Bookes which are with the Clerke of the Crowne .. The Terme ends on Wednsday next About ten days after I thinke to be gone homewards .. The judges will set out from [town] on Munday come sevenight, as I heare. Here is little News at present, the parliament which met thursady last adjourning the same day till Munday next; at which time tis presumed the Houses [will be] more full, that the king will come to make some speech to them'.

Postscript: 'Enquire to the Carryer for the Bundle of Bookes, his name is Abraham Pilling'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 90



Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, London, 10 February 1668

Responding to Dugdale's letter of 2 February, denying that he has accepted money to get descents accepted.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 18 February 1668

'Mr Ashmole is at this time so full of buisnesse in respect of his office of Comptroller of the Excise, that he cannot be at leisure to order his coynes .. If any thing be done in the Act for Registring of [Pedigrees] I will advertise you of it but there are so many peevish persons, who minde ??? present time and their own particular advantages, that I have little hopes thereof .. On Tuesday next I am to go hence for the Country, and must be at Stafford Assizes where I have a Tryall against Holmes an insolent paynter in Chester for usurping my Office in solemnizing divers funeralls .. That copye of the Armes entred in my Yorkshire visitation I have not as yet sent to Mr Horsley, it being not perfected: but in Easter Terme I purpose to compleat it for him. I know no need that you have of it, in regard you had the use of my papers out of which that copy for Mr Horsley is taken.'

Postscript: 'I hope that Booke of the Pedegrees for my Lord Fairfax came safe; and that bundle of the Catalogue of Baronets'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 86



William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, [February 1668]

He has received Johnston's of 10th and £6 10s. from Mr Willoughby the Druggist. He found evidence that will let him allow Mr Kyllam his arms, but wants more for Favell and Horne.

'As for the Registers which did belong to the Cout of Honour, I doubt they were imb[silled] and lost long before the Fire: but if they are not, they are got into private hands, so that I do not well know where or how to enquire for them.'

Postscript: 'Here is no newes of moment'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 121

undated fragment


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 4 March 1668

Responding to Dugdale's letter of 18 February, discusses various pedigrees.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, London, 17 April 1668

Concerning pedigrees and payments.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 1 May 1668

'I have not seem Tom Philpot of a great while, nor should I be any whit the neerer if I did see him, he having sold his fathers books many yeares since .. Your best way will be to write to the E. of Stafford1 to let some servant of his pay the other ten pounds to Mr Fauconbridge, and receive the papers. I love not to meddle with what toucheth the purse of any man; and therefore desire to be excused therein .. I do not know of any large pedegree of the family of Wentworth. Mr Gascoigne did much therein for my Lord of Stafford, but what became of his papers I know not .. Your Brother is practising his hand in drawing (at all spare times) in such sort as may be more beneficiall & usefull to him hereafter. As for Etching or paynting in Colours, it were a great folly to put him upon it as yet till he have a more curious hand at drawing'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 102

Thomas Philipot (d. 1682), son of John Philipot (d. 1645), Somerset herald, whose Villare Cantianum he published under his own name in 1659.


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, London, 3 May 1668

Concerning pedigrees, disclaimers, the death of Horsley and his brother, who he leaves 'wholly to your disposall'.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 12 May 1668

He's received Johnston's letter of 3rd May. Before old Mr Horsley's death he included his son in the deputation, at the request of old Mr Horsley and Sir Thomas Herbert. He will send the copy of the visitation to Edward Horsley shortly. Asks him to send the outstanding money by Trinity Term, 'in regard I shall have occasion for it'. 'Mr Ashmole is so exceedingly cumbred with businesse at theis time', that he won't have much time to deal with Johnston's letter, 'but he will not forget it'. The parliament adjourned on Saturday till 11th August and the Queen has miscarried, 'having gone with childe about 3 months'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 103


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, London, 13 May 1668

Complaining that Henry tells him Dugdale is unconvinced by some descents submitted by Johnston and asking about Dugdale's progress on the Baronage and other projects.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, London, 24 May 1668

Asks for a description of disclaiming, that he can show to others in a last attempt to get them to submit their pedigrees.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, [May 1668]

He has received his letter of 24th and another before. For the moment he intends to disclaim only those who have no right to arms but use them on seals etc. 'I wonder Dr Eyre should be such a stranger to his old Evidences as you instance'. If he wants a copy of the arms that will be sent to Mr Horsley, he must show Horsley Dugdale's letter, though Dugdale is sure he has them once already with the pedigrees.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 111

undated fragment


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 30 May 1668

'I know of nothing come out of the presse but play-books and Romances and such vain things. The Booksellers have little to do, the world being so much addicted to [luxurie] and voluptuousnesse, that whereas we used to have Titles of Bookes in the posts at corners of streets, instead of them are Bills to cure the French pox and such like Infirmityes .. Within the space of a weeke more I shall dispatch my Collections at the Tower, and by this time [twelve] month (God sparing me life and health) all my other collections towards the works I have in hand, and then if I see peace from abroad and mens minds better setled at home and trade like to flourish, I shall go on with the structure of my Baronagen, but how long that may hold me I cannot yet give any guesse'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 105


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 2 June 1668

Expressing his reluctance to become involved in the disclaiming of his neighbours.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, 9 June 1668

He has received £9 10s. from Mr Willoughby's man, but isn't sure exactly what it's for and needs to 'set all things right in my Booke'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 106


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 11 June 1668

He wants an escutcheon for a 'good friend' in parchment. 'If my brother cannot doe it handsomly I would have it done by a better hand'.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 16 June 1668

He has received Johnston's letter of 11th June. 'I must defer my disclaymers till Lent assizes I see' - he'll send him a copy to consider. 'About 5 days since is come out in print the life of Dr Laude Archb: of [Canter]bury written by Dr Heylin (who is lately dead) it is in folio about an inch thick excellently done, and sold by Mrs Seile over against St Dunstans Church in Fleet [St.] at ten shillings .. There is also a pamphley intituled Anarchy, or the good old Cause on the Anvill a small and witty thing about 7 or 8 sheetes'

'I shall stay till this day fortnight before I go out of London'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 104


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, [June 1668]

He received his letter of 11 June 10 days ago, but delayed answering in expectation of Sir John Cotton coming to London, who has Glover's ordinary in his library .. but Sir John has not arrived and may not come up for some time.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 113

undated fragment


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 25 August 1668

He's been silent, because there was nothing worth writing. He asks for a catalogue of those Dugdale intends to disclaim. He is often puzzled by arms in church windows and on tombs - a book to guide him would be very useful.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, Blyth Hall to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 5 September 1668

He received Johnston's letter of 25 August 2 days ago and responds to his questions. He wants Johnston to look at Cholmley pedigree when he goes to Lord Fairfax's. Henry is well, but Johnston should exhort him to be diligent and careful in his work and careful in his apparel.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 109


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, 31 October 1668

Hopes Johnston's received his response to his letter of 25 August, which he sent via London. He is sending him a list of those who have a right to arms but haven't entered so that Johnston can speak to them about it, if he meets them, and the form of the disclaimer for his comment. Henry is well and with Dugdale in London.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 107


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, [November 1668]

He received Dugdale's letter 3 weeks ago, but was unable to answer before as Mr Horsley had borrowed his copy and he has only just got it back. He has visited Horsley at York, having business in the area.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 2 November 1668

He hasn't yet been able to go to Nun Appleton about the Cholmeleys. 'I have writ effectually to my brother to be carefull in doing you the best service & to be more carefull of his writing & his clothes'.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 21 November 1668

Confirming he has seen the visitation arms Dugdale sent to Horsley and been promised a copy. Asks for an account of Ashmole's Saxon coins and reports that he bought Leech's cabinet of rareties, but not his coins because the price was to high.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, 30 November 1668

He has received his letter of 21st November. He will correct the list of disclaimers - some confusion was caused by people entering under different places of habitation. He intends to leave London on 8th December and return at the beginning of Hillary Term. Ashmole sends his regards, but is too busy with the Excise to respond to his questions. 'I am glad to heare that you have got those Rarities which Mr Leech had.'

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 108


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 15 December 1668

Acknoledges receipt of Dugdale's corrected copy of the disclaimers. Henry has written to him about his future and Johnston asks Dugdale's advice.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 3 February 1669

He has received a letter from his brother Henry, suggesting ways for his future subsistance, and asks Dugdale's advice.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 11 February 1669

He has received Johnston's letter of 2nd February. 'Concerning your brother I have endeavoured what I can to dispose of him [for] his good, but find it too hard a matter to accomplish. I have earnestly moved the two Secretarys to the principall Secretaryes of State, they being my speciall freinds; but I see that they have not halfe imployment for those they have under them already .. I have also spoken with Mr Streeter, who is the cheife person for Landskipps & such like painting; but he tells me that till Trinity Terme he can resolve nothing, having two of his own sons now with him, which he intends to dispose of from him by that time. I doubt he will demand much money; and if a man prove not excellent in that art, it will be of little avayle to him .. Your brother knows a very sober gentleman, and of a good family, who writes severall very good hands, .. understands Latine and French', etc., who was employed under Ashmole at the Excise, but following alterations in that office last summer is now unemployed. While Harry stays with him, he'll keep him as is 'fitt', though he gets little income through him.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 99


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 14 February 1669

Concerning Henry's future.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, 16 February 1669

Asks that Johnston should give him warning of Henry's departure, so that he can order his work accordingly and hopes that Johnston will get him notes on Yorkshire Cholmleys from Fairfax's books this spring.

Postscript: 'I write no Newes because I know you have the sight of the Gazett, or other Letters which will better informe you'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 96



Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 19 February 1669

Further concerning Henry's future, mentioning some London acquaintance of his that might help.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 25 February 1669

'Sir, I received yours of the 18th instant: and as to your Brother can say no more than I have done, having (I thinke) as much interest in Mr Williamson and Mr Cooke as I can desire in such a case, were either of them wanting of a clerk: but if theu did, he must write a more even hand then he is yet come to .. You may do well to treat with Mr Kuerden about Mr Archer'. If Harry is going to leave, Dugdale 'would forbeare' to undertake a transcription for Sir Thomas Mainwaring, 'for I am sure I shall get nothing by it'. Currently all he has to employ Harry are some transcripts of Sir Thomas Delves .. 'so bad are the times, by reason that what relates to Honour & Armes is now not lookt after; nor scarce any thing that is serious'. He will be delayed in town because of a funeral, which is to take place in Warwickshire. He has sent the warrants of disclaimer to Mr Horsley.

Postscript: 'Your copyes of those descents you send me are so loosely written, that I feare I shall mistake in transcribing them, not withstanding your brothers helpe, who is so well acquainted with your hand'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 98


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 2 March 1669

Concerning the people to be disclaimed and who should be omitted (clergymen, the old, the young, the sick etc.).

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 8 March 1669

He has been given by Mr Sunderland 'the grate stone I mention I coppyed the inscription my self when I went to Halyfax'. He has heard from several gentlemen, who responded to being told Dugdale intended to disclaim them. He is troubled that Dugdale sees no prospects for his brother. He is happy that he stays with Dugdale, but must think of his future.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale to Nathaniel Johnston, [March 1669]

He has received his letter of the 8th with the descents of Hamond and Sunderland. 'As for your brother I assure you his Apparell & Boots are very good (much better than those wherein he came to me) neverthelesse I intend to buy him a sute against Easter, though I shall part with him, I think, when I returne hither again' - if Wencelaus Hollar '(who Etches the best of any man in England)' does not go with Lord Howard to Tangier, 'as I hardly thinke he will', he 'is content to take him for 5 years & to teach him his Art, and at my request he will I hope accept of ten pounds though he yet insists on 15li but not meddle with finding him Apparell in any sort. Your brother hath a great minde to settle himselfe in that way, his Genius inclining much thereto, as he says .. Mr Hollar is a very honest man, as any I know'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 110

undated fragment


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 13 April 1669

Thanks Dugdale for arranging for his brother to go to Hollar. He hopes the apprenticeship can be shortened in view of his age and experience in tricking arms.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 29 April 1669

Indignantly defends the accuracy of the records held by the College of Arms, 'but I doubt you thinke that all manner of persons whatsoever have right to Armes, and that it is the fault of our Office they are not there registred'. He has 'strayned' Hollar as far as he will go. If Harry is 'dextrous and diligent', he could make a good living and, if he became excellent, even more. Hollar is to go to Tangier and Henry hopes to go too. 

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 118

Covering letter for:

William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, [April 1669]

'Sir, being lately informed that there are some persons, whose names are inserted in those Schedules which are annexed to my Warrants of Disclaymer for Yorkshire who do take offence at you, as though you had been instrumentall therein: I have thought fit, for your vindication to write this Letter to you, which I desire you to shew them'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 117


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 3 May 1669

Responding to Dugdale's letter of 29 April and expresses enthusiasm for the idea of henry going to Tangiers.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


Nathaniel Johnston to William Dugdale, 21 May 1669

Disappointed letter acknowledging that Henry will have to return to Yorkshire until Hollar's return from Tangiers.

College of Arms, Visitation Papers: Yorks, Northumb. & Durham


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, 31 May 1669

'Sir, in vindication of my selfe as to what you charge me with by your Letter of the 21st instant, that is to say, that I would give your brother 10l. p. annum and helpe him to a future subsistance; I must desire you to remember, that when I first enterteined him, it was at your earnest request in order to the fitting him for your imployment in drawing Armes, monuments and the like, and by writing such hands as should be proper for the same; and for his Apparell and necessaries I told you I did purpose to allow him then pounds per annum. It is now just three yeares since [he] came to me, but I hope you have not forgotten that upon my returne out of the [north] in September following, I told you of the wofull mishap I had at London .. by that dreadfull fyre, which destroyed our office and endamaged me, to my almost ruine; so that then I told you I would not continue your brother in [my] service, considering that I should have no occasion for imploying him in any thing b[ut] what my other man could well performe. Whereupon you importuned me to let him [stay] with me a while, if it were but till the next spring, and to allow him what I [would]. Accordingly I have continued him ever since, and how I have mayntayned him in Apparell and otherwise you your selfe may see. As for my imployments .. they have been so little, as that they have not been worth the keeping of a man constantly at such a chardge here, as I have done, considering that I could have had my buisnesse done by the hands of journey-men upon occasion; as I have been necessitated to do when I have had any thing of much consequence, as your bro[ther] knows: for then did I borrow my former servant Gregory to do it, and payd well for it. As for preferring your brother, I should have readily done it, had it been in my power, but I must tell you he is not capable of such preferment as I expected he wanting knowledge of Latin, which you told me he had sufficient. He knows well that [there] is an honest gentleman, one Mr Foliot, that hath been out of imployment neere twelvemonth, whose abilities for Latine, French, and otherwise and writing well will have [quali]fyed him for it, were not the times very bad. As for Mr Hollar he knows his termes, nor can I strayne Mr Hollar further, he being content to abate him 5li. for my sake. Sir, I am very sorry that after all my cost, care and paynes with your brother for his good and indeed, considering my condition, I should now be censured by you. I heartily wish him well, and you also, and rest, your humble servant.'

Postscript: 'The descents of Greene & Sunderland, by reason there is no sufficient proofe of the Armes, I know not what to do with nor with any other my Booke being full as your brother knows'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.18, 89


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, 6 May 1673

'Sir, That which I was desired to enquire; and to which end I spoke to Mr More was; whether there was anything upon the monument of Sir John Ryther of Ryther to manifest that, upon some disgust he tooke from certain hard words given him by the Black Prince .. he challenged the prince to combate, being then Governour of Barwick; as it was confidently told me there was; though much unlikely, as I thought. And I perceive by your Letter (which I did receive by the hands of my good freind Mr Belwood) that I was in the right: for I see that you have taken exact notice of whatsoever is memorable in that Church, which is a very commendable worke'.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 19


William Dugdale, Heralds' Office to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 11 June 1678

He's received Johnston's letter of 5th, 'but not in so seasonable a time as I could wish, most mens mindes being at present taken up with greater matters, in reference to the publiq (of which God grant us a good issue) and I have some reason to beleive that those honourable persons, whom you mention, have now much of their own concerns in their heads. For the first though I have seen him divers times, he never sayd word to me concerning the paynes you have taken about his pedigree'. He will have occasion to wait on him in a few days and will mention his valuation of Johnston's 'paynes'. 'As for the other, on whom I have offner oportunities to attend (he being our grand patron)', Dugdale will 'take the boldnesse' at the next opportunity to indicate what public service Johnston has done in sorting and binding the papers. If he had been sent for and asked to do the work, he could expect recompense, but if it formed part of his work on Yorkshire, he could expect the same reward as Dugdale's for Warwickshire 'which was to be payd with my labour for my travail; and when I had done my best for the honour of their families, insted of any recompense (which I never expected) to be censured for not doing enough'.

'I well remember that after Mr. Dodsworth and myself had by the favour of Sir Thomas Cotton gleaned out of that rare collection which his worthy father (Sir Robert Cotton) made all that we thought propoer for those volumes relating to the monasteries which are printer, Sir Thomas told me that he had 2 large bales of ancient papers of State and other things of note which had never been opened since they were so packed up by his father, and that if I would take the pains to sort them whereby they might be useful, he did not doubt but that I might find in them something more for my purpose. Whereupon I adventured on the work, and found 2 lieger books within the bundles, which pleased me so well that I did not stick at putting all those papers into order, they being all papers of State, many of them Cardinal Wolsey's papers, Cromwell's, Cecill's, Walsingham's, and other secretaries, with letters from all the chief of the nobility in the reigns of Hen. 8, Edw. 6, Q. Mary, and Q. Elizabeth. Those which related to France, Rome, Germany, Denmark, and Scotland, I sorted by themselves; so likewise all others in order of time; amongst which I found very many letters betwixt the Queen of Scots and Duke of Norfolk, most in cypher and decyphered. All of them I disposed in such order, when I caused them [to be] bound up in large volumes to the number of about four score, with clasps; Sir Thomas paying the bookbinder; but as I did not expect it (though he was a man of 6,000l per annum estate), he never offered me 6d. for my pains therein. I have little hopes therefore of doing any good for you', although 'paynes in these cases ought both in justice and honour to be considered'.

'It is now above a 12 month since I heard that your brother was got in a cloyster; but I could not learn where. I am sorry that he hath thus buryed himself alive, considering how well he might have lived in the world and been a comfort to his friends by his honest labours, having so dextrous a hand at etching and paynting.'

Postscript: He intends to go home in about a fortnight until Michaelmas term.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 35; HMC 6th Report, Appendix, 453


William Dugdale, London to Nathaniel Johnston, Pontefract, 20 June 1678

'Sir, I received yours of the 17th but have not as yet seene my Lord Hallifax'. He's been told that Halifax sprained his wrist in a fall and that keeps him from Parliament. 'The Duke hath also been in the country till yesterday: when I told him of that good work of sorting those Letters and papers and binding them up in sixteen volumes, desiring that his Grace would consider of sending for them, he sayd little to it; but talkt of his speedy going to the Wells at Tunbridge, by reason of his painfull infirmity of the stone, which this winter did much afflict him.

You may do well to cause your son to attend his Grace about those Bookes, and likewise my Lord Hallifax upon any occasion'.

'I believe your Brother may get any thing etcht or graved at Paris, much more cheape then here in London'. He will leave London at the beginning of July.

Bodleian, MS Top Yorks c.36, 34